Video: Educator confirmed dead in Lagos building collapse

The long wait for the Lepelle family for confirmation on the death of their matriarch in the Lagos building collapse, has come to an end.

Ms Maureen Mawhlele, well known educationalist has been confirmed dead alongside 84 other South Africans, of which 62 has been positively identified.

The well known and loved Middelburg 2 circuit manager, lost her life during the tragic collapse of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on 12 September.

The excruciating wait however still continues for the families of 23 unidentified countrymen.

The Observer visited the family at their Mhluzi home where Maureen’s mother, Ms Irene Lepelle, sat waiting to hear when the body of her daughter would be returned to the country for burial. She introduced her daughter to education, herself being the former Makhatini Primary School Principal.

Mrs Mawhlele started her career as a teacher and then worked as a labour relations officer at the Department of Labour in Middelburg, before being appointed circuit manager.

She had a welcoming home, the door was open to everyone in the Mhluzi, the family fondly remembers.

“She touched the lives of the pupils she taught in school,” said Mpho Mawhlele, who added that most of her pupils got on in life thanks to her inspiration. Ms Mawhlele also played an instrumental part in the establishment of the Mhluzi radio station, GMFM.

She was a devoted Christian which explains what she was doing at the church of the controversial TB Joshua.

The family is waiting for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), to arrange for the repatriation of the bodies of all deceased.

“We will arrange a funeral once she has been returned home,” the family confirmed on Thursday.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about Maureen Mawhlele. She was an excellent Circuit Manager and was very helpful when approached for advice for the school and personal advice. May she rest in peace and my sympathy to her family. Erica Fourie

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